Why are some people and nations in poverty yet others are not? How do businesses decide what to make, how many people to hire, and what price to charge? The Economics program at Salem College offers courses, majors and minors to understand and answer these questions. Students in economics explore how the economy works, how businesses make decisions, and how the government addresses issues in the economy.
Economics is the study of how society allocates scarce resources. Economics is founded in moral philosophy, not profit maximization as many assume. Knowledge of economics will provide you with the tools to understand and analyze current events and trends, different market structures, governmental policy, and consumer behavior. The Economics Program offers a major and minor in Economics. The major in Economics has three tracks: Mathematical Economics, Policy Analysis and Business Economics.
Empirical evidence supports the importance of single-sex education in economics. In an experiment that randomly assigned students taking introductory economics to single-sex or co-ed classes, women in the single-sex class earned higher grades–not only in that class but in subsequent classes–than women in the co-ed class. This is important as the profession of economics is very gendered: only 13% of economists are female.
Across all workers, women earn 77% of what men earn, on average and the pay gap is even worse for women of color. Studying economics can help you learn why that happens and help you avoid becoming part of that statistic! Average earnings among college graduates who majored in economics are higher than for almost any other major.
Typically, graduates enter the work force within the business industry, or pursue graduate school. Common graduate school programs for economics undergraduates include economics, finance, public policy, political science, anthropology and law school. Common jobs for economics majors include auditing, analyst, finance, investment banker, working in the government sector and policy analysis. Economics touts the highest lifetime income of all undergraduate majors, and is tied with Engineering for highest starting salary by undergraduate major.
Women’s colleges have an excellent track record of preparing women for graduate school. Students interested in graduate school should read this information from the American Economics Association.